Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wheels Away

Here's a picture and a nice informational site for my old Suzuki. Well, close I think this may be a picture of a '79 and not a '78 and the pin striping on mine was blue and green rather red and gold.

I just officially sold it to my friend Don, a classmate from Meisner and ETI, and an all around great fellow. I'd loaned it to him early in the ETI school year last year, and we finally exchanged money and paperwork at the Thai Ginger restaurant today.

I sold my truck on Saturday. So, in a mere two days I sold my oldest vehicles. Not by calendar age, but by how long I've had them. The Moto Guzzi better start feeling nervous, it's now my oldest vehicle on the ownership calendar. My oldest vehicle with regards to dates of assembly remains the Vanagon. Funny how I upgraded from my pickup to a low end vw that is three years older. Tells you everything you need to know about american cars. Even with pretty much all manufacturers being globalized, american ownership is all that is needed to enthusiastically provide crappy quality. Of course all our MBA programs focus on cost benefit analyses and bottom lines, generally looking no more than 90 days into the future. Explains how the "Made In U.S.A." label has come to mean the opposite of the quality it guaranteed a few short generations ago.

The MBA model of lazy academicians has changed us from the land of quality goods, to the land of "It's almost good enough." The short-sighted animals who rebuilt a nation in their mediocre image have taken the lack of quality and long term goals all the way to the white house, the residence of the most powerful and archetypal MBA in the world.

God, I can't even sell my old vehicles without being reminded of the travesty our country has become. One of the definitions of travesty is "any grotesque or debased likeness or imitation." It is absolutely appropriate to my view of what we are at this moment in time, versus what we once were and strove to be.

All mourning for our once admirable nation aside, I'll miss my old p/u and the Suzuki. They both served me incredibly well, and are both in the hands of people happy to have them. The bike to a good friend who has ridden as regularly as I, and the GMC to a mechanic looking on it as a project vehicle.

Now I'm down to the Vanagon. There is an Astro mini-van I'm storing, and if the owner living in London and the seller in Minneapolis can ever conclude their ages old title transfer either that car or the Vanagon may be gifted to my nephew. I do want to stay at one four wheeled vehicle at a time for a while. I am thinking of getting a small (bio)diesel p/u, but it will be a replacement, not a new bit of lawn art.

I also got up on my extension ladder this weekend. I was thinking of getting on the roof, but despite the beautiful weather yesterday, I didn't want to get up on those soggy fir needles. My fear driven excuse for yesterday. But like getting rid of a couple vehicles it was a step in the right direction. I reached with the push broom and cleaned a nice sized bit of roof, and before you know it I'll actually be on the roof. By the end of the month I hope to have the whole thing swept, and my personal goal is to have the big windfall on the peak line off by then.

I hate ladders. It's a brand new ladder, which has been sitting in my garage for over two years. I bought it just before I broke my leg, and this was my first time using it. I keep forgetting I have the damn thing. Being afraid of heights makes it easier to forget too. Don't laugh, lots of Naval Aviators (and navel contemplators) are scared of hieghts. I guess there's more than one flavor. For me and my fellow aviators it's being on the edge of a building or precipice. Airplane, helicopter, or parachute, no problem. I think the hard part about parachuting for me would be looking out the door, which would be even harder than stepping out the damn thing. I know from para-sailing that being in the chute would be no problem, just the getting out of the perfectly good airplane part.

Will Scott actually sweep the roof and remove the monster branch this month? Only through these riveting vignettes will you ever know. Of course, having yourself riveted to a rough surface may sound appealing if you spend too much time reading this.


Blogger B.D. said...

Shortly after moving into our house, I ordered one of the Little Giant ladders. The person who inspected our home recommended it as being "the only ladder you'll ever need". To be sure, it has been a terrific ladder and it reaches to the peak of our roof. However, we we first went to use it to wash the second story windows, my fear of heights kicked in and I wasn't able to overcome it. My better half had to do that work herself. Ugh...damn irrational fears.

As for MBA students: it amuses me that they find the success of the Toyota company so beguiling. Toyota has even started a little side industry teaching people their methods of success. The MBAs don't get it at all. Even if they do, they are often trapped in a corporate culture that won't allow for such long term planning and focus on quality (as well as efficiency). They tend to take away and use a facade of the methods and ignore such "quaint" concepts such as employee loyalty, management responsibility, reasonable pay scales, devotion to R and D, and so on. The results are predictable: mediocre companies, mediocre products, a big splash on Wall Street with publicity, and an eventual "cooling off" with much hand wringing of what went wrong and a huge payout to the mediocre MBAs who created the mess.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Way back... I got my Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1982 at Seattle University. Their Albers School of Business was supposed to have an outstanding reputation, but they did have one easy degree. As a pre-med student I saw lots of my peers fall from their high ideals when partying frequently, and ability occasionally forced people to lower their goals.

First were the typical ones. They'd try for pre-law, engineering, or chemistry depending on their assumed aptitude. Since they didn't do anything about the bad habits which took them down, these equally challenging pursuits quickly overwhelmed them too.

The next tier was all over the place. People actually finding something they could excel at. Eventually the incompetents gravitated towards their teaching certificates. This is a tragedy, but happily by my guess only accounts for about 20% of the teachers (about the same number which are conservative...). Now the true losers, those who couldn't even pull their shit together enough for the sadly uncompetitive teaching certificate curriculum ended up getting jobs except for those who couldn’t cut the mustard interviewing with MacDonald’s and Jack In The Box.

What to do with these ultimate losers who felt entitled to everything in life except their own sweat? How could such drains on society be handled? Occasionally Catholics actually show the sort of compassion they preach. They did so for these losers, and called it a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. These were the students who after hearing ‘A’ explained in clear and exhaustive detail for the eleventh time in a quarter, would hoist their magic pen to the sky, and without ever taking their eyes off their desk or waiting for acknowledgement and loudly challenge, “But what about ‘A’? Where did that come from and are we going to be tested on this new material?”

I always thought they were too stupid to breath without constant reminders, but it turns out they were already practicing presidential politics.

12:20 PM  

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